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LR Set to Spend $318,000 to Help Ex-Cons

The city of Little Rock wants to keep former convicts from ending up back behind bars.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- The city of Little rock wants to keep former convicts from ending up back behind bars.
   
Tuesday afternoon, the Board of Directors heard details about a plan to spend more than $300,000 on "re-entry programs" to benefit the community.

The programs would be aimed at people like Antonio Price who was released from prison five months ago.  Price was arrested when he was 16 and served a 10-year sentence for his role in an armed carjacking.  Now on the outside, he's trying to move forward.

"The first thing that's going through your mind is like 'man, I have to go out and find a job,'" Price said.

But for a convicted felon, that can be extremely difficult.

"You're going to get turned down a lot," he said, adding that he's had the door slammed in his face "numerous times."

For help, Price turned to the Adult Learning Center at Our House where he's getting one-on-one instruction on things like making a resume. 

Our House is one of five community organizations presented to the mayor and board of directors Tuesday that are set to receive $318,000 in sales tax revenues.  The money would fund programs to help prevent people like Antonio from ending up back in prison.

Program manager Michelle Allen said one of the most important lessons is teaching her students how to explain their past.

She wants them to "be able to talk openly and honesty about that experience and say what they've been able to learn from it."

Even though it's been a struggle, Antonio said he's determined to do right.

"I go everyday with just hope... everyday," he said.

Funding for the programs is up for a vote at the Board of Directors meeting next Tuesday.
   

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